The Big Three Oh Actual 

The big three oh or is it dirty 30, was something I was quite anxious about. I had set some things that I thought I would have achieved by the time I got to that age. To be honest, there are some things I haven’t gotten around to doing, but then again, in my three decade learnings, we have our own plans and God has his. So I am praying that His will be done in my life and that He guides me on what is of more importance.

So on my actual birthday, I had bought a dress for it, which I wore and felt pretty sexy about. I put on those heels and promised to stick it out the entire day (I usually wear my heels for a max of 6 hours before I start feeling like my feet have grown an extra ¼ inch in width). I had focused on happiness from within and tried to just take a chill pill on all else. In context, for the last month I have been having serious high and low moments as far as energy and being happy is concerned. Anyway, so as I was driving to work, I got a few phone calls (yeah yeah I was using my earphones) and to be honest, I didn’t mind the attention. For most of those I spoke to, they went through the emphasis of the big three oh. It was interesting to note that for some it was just the beginning of life, it was getting onto the third floor and they spoke of a more analytical, keen, focused kind of stage. For others, it was that huge monster called thatee, it was downhill from there, it demanded one to have gotten to a certain level, and it was when hardships ideally became more consistent. I definitely chose the beginning of life, being positive was what I wanted to focus on.

In the middle of the day, I got to a situation that threatened to make me angry. For those who know me, it takes a very short while to move from calmness to anger. The funniest thing was asking myself, now that I am thirty, what should my reaction be? Age is just a number, more importantly, should I start folding my sleeves? Of course not, the dress did not have sleeves, well… that and the fact that I don’t think I can even through a punch. Yap I said it, I am extremely scared of physical fights. I decided to just calm down and give it thirty minutes (see what I did there) before I reacted, just to ground myself.

Moving on, evening came and as I drove home to pick the Captain, I reminisced a lot about how far he has come and his healing. Of course I chose what he would wear, I love doing that (just so that he doesn’t quickly pull out a pair of jeans and a t-shirt, don’t tell him I said that). It was so amazing to know he could actually go out. So of we went to the location for the dinner. It was so humbling to find 6 of my close family members, one of whom included my dad. I have been a daddy’s girl forever, but my dad doesn’t like mushy events. So for him to be there, it was truly 30, so sweet and emotional. And yes my tears were very close.

The highlight of the evening after enjoying the delicious meal and wonderful conversation, was my melted ice cream surprise cake. Thank goodness I did not see it. So the lady who was handed to the cake by Sista Nice, decided not to listen to the clear message of putting it in the freezer. This was after she was told twice. What made it worse was after she delivered the sad news, she went ahead to bring what was left of the cake solo, not with like six of her colleagues to sing happy birthday as they usually do. They had done it to a lady just minutes before. Even she didn’t believe that cake was worth presenting, yet she did anyway. After some exchanges we asked to speak to the manager. This was even worse. The guy came with a fixed mind with the story he had received from his colleague, he also came with one of the staff from the kitchen. This we knew because she had an apron and a protective net on her head. The long and short was he didn’t bother to even ask what our side of the story was. So we gave it to him and asked him to come up with a solution. He came back offering sweet potato pie which we refused. Finally though we got to speak, on phone, to his manager who was kind enough to waiver our bill and offer to deliver a similar cake the following day. All in all, the element of family for me was enough to make my evening grand.

On Friday evening, dress number two was pulled out, bright as the sun and I had a drink up with a couple of my friends and family members. Those who could stand all the loud music and lots of drinks, milk and hot beverages of course. This was the most fun I had had since my early 20s. It was so amazing that I even lost a few hours. Needless to say I got home after the sun had risen. The night went from light conversation, to ice cream cake, to shots, to deep conversations shared, those that would probably never have come out of our systems if both parties had not partaken the milk. I am glad for all who showed up, were represented and contributed to my Jager bomb shots among many other drinks. I really needed to have that one night, with most of the people who I truly love. And let loose, I really did. The best part of it was that people came out from my different circles, it really reassured me. It’s been a bit hard lately.

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Delicious cake

On Saturday mid-morning, I felt like my head was 30 kilos, (yap, 30, thatee everywhere) on its own . Three of my friends had promised to take me somewhere out of town and I was still keen to prove that 30 was just a number and energy was what I had most. So off I went to meet up with them. I had a piece of KFC chicken to fight the hangover, the oily part of it really helped. So they whisked me away to Machakos county, Ol Donyo Sabuk Resort to be specific. It was quiet, serene and just a nice way to let all the alcohol get out of the system. We had lunch and just enjoyed the ambience. I might have not been of extremely great company as my old body worked out hangover manenos, but they were fantastic company.

The Macmillan’s castle, on the foot of Mt Kilimambogo was our next stop, just ten minutes away. The locals took us through some history about Macmillan including how he was seven feet tall, how guests would have to clean their feet before entering his castle, and the design of the castle being as a result of the hills in ol donyo sabuk area. We went round the castle and even to the bunkers underneath the house. That was a scary part for me as I thought of all the crazy things I had seen in movies, not to mention the darkness in some areas, and the creaky stairs we used to go down. Each of the three locals who were our tour guides had various versions of the stories that went on underground in the early 90s. That was a funny scene as they tried to out shine each other.  Macmillan’s story was shocking, with such a huge castle, they didn’t have any children. Apparently though, he really valued animals, to the extent his horses and dogs had very big spaces to call home. This opened up my eyes to how I should tour Kenya a little more and enjoy understanding the rich history it has. So grateful for my people for taking me there.

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Macmillan Castle

In between the various events though, I got some elements of stuff I want to do and a few things I would like to change. I have scribbled a few down and will work on finishing it off and just having clearer goals. I appreciate the gift of life a whole lot. The people around me have really been strong pillars as I tackled this year, which was quite challenging. I am proud of myself. I didn’t think I had some capabilities and inner strength that I now know exists. I hope I can share that story one day, just to encourage people who has gone through something similar with a loved one.

Based on my three day birthday experience, the big three oh is good for me. I would love to get to 85 like my grandma, who is a June baby as well. I can’t forget my two munchkins who make my life worth living. They are a huge part of why I would want to live longer. Thanks so much to each individual that wished me a happy birthday through whichever medium. I am grateful to God for life, good health, family and friends.

Here is to many many many more.

The Big Three Oh

Are there days when you feel like you are done with everything? I usually feel like I would like to teleport to South Coast, lie on the beach, sip on a screw driver without a care in the world. The reality looks like this, my munchkin number two would have to reduce her major attachment to mummy, with reason as she is ten months. My munchkin number one would require an explanation, with his recently learnt alphabets and numbers craze. My main man would wonder how I would have a holiday without him, especially during this season of his life. Not to mention the flight and accommodation bookings or the normal VIP Modern Coast seat. All this and I haven’t even thought of having my leave approved, shhhh don’t let my boss know this. I am probably looking at some time in 2018, with all these logistics. I haven’t even thought of summer clothes.

This is the year I join the third floor officially. Had you asked me how I felt about it last year, I would have probably said I will breeze through it. It’s just 30 after all. But what I have learnt through the on-going season of my life since October last year, is that life can change drastically. We have all the ambitions, plans and wonderful things to look forward to. So much so that we can sometimes want to rush the current to get to the future. Not to mean that I am not looking forward to that huge party I want it(Family and friends reading this, I love surprises). I am looking forward to it, but my perspective on it is different.

The Big Three Oh

I want it to be with my two munchkins, just staring at them and realizing that second floor blessed me with them, a mind blowing amazing feeling, a huge adjustment that made me patient, responsible, warmer, authoritative. I am now able to understand the true meaning of love and hard work.

I want it to be with my family that has been so constant in my life. Words can’t describe how blessed I am. I pray every day that God gives them long life in this land of the living, for me to share even greater moments with them. I try to express my love as often as I can, my respect and appreciation.

I want it to be with my friends, the ones who have remained through the tides, the new ones I have acquired, the ones who have called, texted, looked for me and been patient enough to let me talk about what is going on when I am ready. The ones that have come and sat with me in silence. The ones who have brought food to hospital and sat there to ensure I ate. The ones who have paid a counsellor and allowed me the opportunity to off load my fears and anxieties to an amazing professional. Actually they started by convincing me that I needed it. The ones who allowed me back to work without asking questions, until I was ready to talk. The ones who prayed for me from a far because they didn’t know how to handle the situation. And many others scenarios I may not mention, I am extremely grateful.

I want it to be with my main man. The wonderful guy that God gave me. The one whose rib I am part of. Now that young man has gone through something completely life changing. He is still going through the recovery, with great progress I might add. Being there to seeing him going through it has been really tough but I have soldiered on by God’s grace. I am so proud of him for fighting for his life. I am happy to be the one chosen to be with him in this season. As much as I have never been a girl with extreme excitement for the white dress, aisles and flowers, this man and this season has made me open up to the idea someday. Just maybe, I might embrace this idea. Especially because it allows me to stand in front of God and man and commit to sharing the good and bad with my main man. To share the moment with all these beautiful day with the amazing people who saw us through this. I want to look at him fully back to his feet, in total good health and dance together. Oh dear, do you see how when a girl starts talking about it, it takes over? I digress.

I want it to be with my main man fully healed and recovered. That Dear God is my prayer.

I want it to be with God by my side as He has been even in the darkest, loneliest of moments. The great moments as well, given the greatest miracle of our lives and continues to direct our path.

I want cake, good food, laughter, peace, joy, good health and life in abundance.

And finally, I want to actually make it to the beach, but this time on a positive note and hopefully with the people I love the most. And it will come to pass. God’s timing is the best. I look forward.

I guess this means I am back to writing, I had missed it!

The ‘Nganya’ Jav Experience

So I have been walking tall still considering myself youth and being really proud of it. Yesterday however, the bitter realization that it might no longer be true hit me hard. It was late evening and here I was rushing through the busy Nairobi streets, to get to my bus stop and get a jav real quick. As I walked through, my youthful side wanted to get into that nganya / bumtwaf jav (I bet there is a cooler name for that now). Anyway, I get to the stop and there are a couple of guys waiting, so someone suggests a queue. So queue moves swiftly and in a few minutes I am closer to getting into a jav. The current one is old. I cross my fingers hoping that the guys before me would fill it up. True to my wish they actually do, I stand smiling sheepishly at the next one, it was new and I could hear the music from outside. As I get in, I realize it already has a couple of young guys sitting on the window seats, bobbing their heads to the music. I have to go all the way to the back seat, no worries, I could totally sit on top of the base speaker (if that’s what it’s called). The jav quickly fills up and as I enjoy the music, though a bit loud. I can still hear some dudes chatting (screaming over the really loud music).

We quickly maneuver through the city traffic, go through parklands and soon we are onto another random route I have no idea of. I figure it’s a short cut, but as the number of trees continue to increase, I get a little worried but everyone else seems pretty calm, so I take a chill pill. We get to a place where curiosity creeps in as we realizing we haven’t moved in about five minutes. There is no traffic ahead just some negotiations between the three kanges and some watchies. Yes three kanges. The area is residential and javs are not allowed to pass through. The watchies prove to be hard nuts to crack and the jav has to turn around. A couple of insults are hurled as we go back where we came from. At this point I look keenly at the interior of the jav, it has proper speakers at least six. As if the driver was waiting to catch my attention, he suddenly turns on the lights. In a few seconds, there were so many flashing lights I thought I would get dizzy, or worse still they would short circuit. Oh wait maybe not, let’s assume it’s the disco lights effect. Well, at this point, my ears, eyes and dangling legs, seeing how short I am, were pressing to hold an urgent meeting to figure out how much longer they would have to go through this. A few deep breaths and turning on my youth element, I found a way to cope.

One of the six speakers

One of the six speakers

Soon we finally join Waiyaki way at Brookside drive and the traffic is really bad. The honks the driver pressed on were good enough to scare the small car drivers into letting him pass. However, where he found bigger trucks, there was no one to bully so he chose to overlap. This is where I called on Jesus, as the driver maneuvered so close to the drainages, I knew the old age had kicked in as I wanted to scream STOP! Again, the younglings were calm and on their phones, while others were discussing the way they would go back for what we called squadi in my days. I wonder what they call it now. Listening to them was a good distraction, I mean my ears could actually filter the music and pick their voices. A couple of maneuvers here and there and we were onto another escape route. This one was quite good as we passed a couple of posh houses, the Muthangari residence was quite catchy. This was plus to my trip.

Finally we got to what was causing the major snarl up, the transformer that had fallen near Kianda School. I thanked Kenya Power for the time taken to move it as it got me to rethink a couple of things. I began to understand that the youth part was slowly letting go and I was getting to the part where soon one of the kanges, assuming it’s a norm these days, would say “harakisha mathe.” In less than ten minutes, I was alighting. The youth part of me was still arguing that I could probably blame the village for my lack of proper exposure. Wait for it, the younglings who wanted to go for the squadi, found out they had to alight too, as it was not going back to town. As they sadly alighted, it hit me, it’s not where I lived, I had moved to the next phase. Through the thought of short circuiting lights, feeling like my ear drums would burst, I stared at the KBZ jav as it quickly drove off and realized then that truly age had caught up with me. There is nothing wrong with the cool lights, the loud music and the three kanges, probably there is a lot of support required in that job. I walked home slowly, smiling and appreciating the point in my life where I was at that level. My peers from Kikuyu must surely remember Alicia & Ng’ombe. That’s as far as my memory goes.

The 28th year

So my birthday month June went by fast and it was quite cool. Those who know me well, know I never let my birthday pass without some noise, I love attention, I mean come on its once a year. This one however, was a bit more chilled out. I spoke more on phone and received messages, hang out with my boys, Munchkin and Papa, and enjoyed dinner with the Mutaratara group (believe it or not I am in a group bearing this name, and no it’s not a procedural group!)

The birthday celebration

So I sat reviewing how my year was and I realized, amazingly, how fast a year goes by. Since June last year, I have moved out, seen my son walk, run and tantrum. Better yet I have seen him grow tall, repeat a couple of words, communicate with gestures, move shoes to three sizes bigger and learn how to eat our food. I couldn’t help but wonder what I used to do with my life before him. I am hooked to my little ninja. And it got me thinking, as I am raising this absolutely active young boy with a very strong opinion that I need to let go of some stuff if I will teach by example.

Allow me to get you into context, when I was pregnant, it was a bitter sweet feeling. I had close friends and family who couldn’t put it past themselves that I wasn’t married. They did not necessarily say it directly but I could tell there was a certain stigma. Goodness me, I kept thinking, this is a blessing not a disease! And it got me so mad, their reaction that is, that I totally took it personally and wanted to forget about them and ditch them completely. And for the last one and half years, I have kept my distance and my family away from them. Recently though, it hit me that for sure you can’t choose family. I began to realize that some of my family members would sit in ‘my goat negotiations’, we would meet in family functions, both good and bad. I probably would survive putting on a fake smile and getting past the small talk, but that’s not what I want to teach my munchkin. And I want to be real and honest with him all the way. So I guess this is the part I bury the hatchet (my English teacher would be proud). I still struggle with forgiveness especially when there has been no apologies, but I am learning to figure it out.

On the other hand I have grown to respect my parents on a whole new front. My little young man could literally make my heart stop and he is turning two this week. He is so awesome and fun but he also has potential to drive me crazy. I wonder how my mum was able to blow dry and plait my hair herself, as I yelled my lungs out. Or how my dad survived with me as a teenager. How he felt when I forcefully moved to campus or when he knew that I partake of drinks with a certain alcoholic percentage. Parenthood is an experience like no other with major highs and lows. God’s guidance is what enables parents to survive.

On a friendship level, I am so grateful for my real friends. The ones who have stayed with me through all the fun and craze to listening to me talk about munchkin 9 out of 10 of the times in our conversations. Considering I was the first in my group (s) to get a baby, I hope I wasn’t overbearing. I am so excited that now. Munchkin has friends to play with and others are already in the womb, you know yourself. I am lucky to have the ones who understand when I return calls two days later. The ones whom even though we stay a couple of months without talking, when we do talk it’s so seamless, the ones who know they can call anytime and vice versa. On the other hand, it has hurt to lose some close friends, some in heartbreaking situations and others slowly slipping away but I have learnt that some people are in your life for a season and so I am at peace with it.

I miss staying with my grandma and I need to make it a habit to take munchkin more often coz I can see they both really miss each other’s company and shared time. Three of my nieces were born within that year, I have a bigger extended family with siblings who are so genuine, a man that I continue to be so grateful to God for. I always remember my paternal grandma’s words, “God is the one who gives a good husband” and even as we get there, I have seen major truth in it. My work life has become better, one way or another. I still have major business ideas that I need to execute, I need some help with being able to build them and be accountable.

I miss my Mummy and can’t even begin to imagine how impressed she would be by munchkin, being a grandma, how my life continues to turn out, the endless conversations we would have, the great times we would share but I know God has a reason.

Oh well, let me not get you all emotional. That was a fabulous year for me, all things considered. I have seen changes in me that I am liking. I hope to become better with age, just like fine wine. I am slowly but surely letting go and letting God. The journey continues as I count down my second birthday this year, 4 days to my munchkin’s birthday, that day in 2013 that my life changed forever, I absolutely love it.

 

The Fifteen Minutes Walk

I am a sucker for short distances, houses close to the road, let’s just call it laziness. Since I walk about 7 minutes to work daily, I convince myself that it’s enough workout. Now that I live about 15 minutes away from the road, I feel like it’s almost gotten to the Rongai level , no pun intended ha ha ha ha. However, since these days I am trying to get the best out of every situation, I decided to quit whining and it turned out to be a really good thing.

On a sunny morning, I walk slowly listening to hype music to keep me energized for the day. I am slowly getting into the lady land, I find myself wearing dresses or a skirt and a bright top and absolutely loving it. So by the time I admire myself, appreciate my other admirers, and bob to the great music, I am already at the stage. On a rainy day, I battle with the mud, enjoy watching cars skid, have warm and fighter thoughts to avoid falling and ruining the good looks. Yap, vanity is one of the vices I possess, blame my family.

The amazing thing is that the evenings bring out the best time to release the pressure, think about the day and what I should have done better.  On the days I am feeling a bit stressed, it’s the best time to walk. I sometimes phone a friend to release the steam as I take brisk steps, knowing my little munchkin is looking forward to seeing his mummy. The feeling is definitely mutual. When not on phone, I analyze these thoughts real quick, discard the pressure, enjoy the evening breeze and just as I begin to get tired, I spot Mama Akoth, the roast maize vendor, and I beam with excitement. I select the soft maize, pay up and say thanks. As I continue with my journey, I find myself smiling; I think she spikes the maize.

Walking

My love for music gives me an alternative to thinking times. Depending on what station I am listening to, I enjoy the blues, reminiscing about a love that was or thinking of the one that will be on Monday, old skool on Wednesday to appreciate the mid week excitement and the ragga bringing the party mood on Thursday evening. Life is so interesting, the distance has now turned out to be a time and exercise that I absolutely enjoy or that clears my mind. Indeed things sometimes change for the better, rigidity can keep you sad for a while but looking at the bright side of things allows one to embrace change and stay happy. You might be surprised; it just could teach you something new about yourself. I know I have learnt a couple of things.

As I open the door to the house, I remove my shoes, walk in and see the greatest smile ever or sometimes a frown as he fights off the hunger pangs, from the little man who has made my life ever so meaningful. At that point, I forget that I was supposed to be tired and I quickly wash my hands to get the update for the day, after he feeds of course.. Such an amazing welcome…

Munchkin

Yippee, I am back, with my munchkin right now in hand… Finally, the long journey came to an end, bringing forth a lovely gift just like his name means. So about the myths, all I will say is that the one about extreme pain is surely not a myth. Indeed the joy though, overrides all the previous feelings.

The first days are quite delicate and scary. How to hold, fear of the neck before it stabilizes, wondering if he is seeing me, if he can hear, when or how he will learn to feed – it is a trying time for all starting mothers, but we thank God for His grace and the support of people who have been through it before. The encouraging thing is all these things pass and baby adapts as does his/her mother. However, new things keep coming in as well. I remember the first time my son puked, it was panic all over wondering how major it was that he removed milk from his mouth and nose. Worse still was when they said; make sure he sleeps on his side so that he does not choke. Now for a couple of nights all I would do is just stare at him as he slept, to make sure he does not choke. Today, it’s easier. I still stare at him sleep once in a while, rush to check on him when he sleeps for too long, just to make sure he is breathing, pray as he feeds that he does not choke and many other things. But I know that as he sleeps on his side, milk will come out when he burps and spill to his little blankie and he will be fine.

As he grows

Being a mother is a tough thing, it requires patience, the will to learn, the strength to remain sane or not to get a heart attack, the grace that only God can give to allow one to leave their munchkin with another person. On the other side, it’s the most fulfilling, heart melting, loving, engaging and blessed part of my life. No matter how much stress, his little toothless smile and bubu talk, makes me feel loved and so valued. I have been puked on, peed on (trust them boys), pooped on, scratched, drooled on and there are many more to come as he grows, but I would not trade if for anything.

To all mothers (myself included),and mothers to be, what looks like a mountain today will one day be a tiny little speck of dirt. Pray, play, love, live and thank God, family and friends for their love and support.

The Journey Continues……

It’s amazing to realize how days go by so quickly and though at the beginning of a journey it feels like one is so far from the destination, with time it gets closer and closer. Depending on the keenness you have, there is a lot of value and knowledge to be picked along the way, an eye opening experience, a cautious situation, a need to embrace change and realizing what is most important.

Munchkin and I have been away, but not forgotten. Probably trying to prepare for the D-day, while adjusting to this new way of life. Indeed a lot of excitement is involved; there is this deep feeling of connection that is not explainable. All I can say is it gets better as the days go by. However, this era of technology and Dr. Google could easily lead to higher level of anxiety reducing this happiness. Not to mention, people’s traditions and beliefs on pregnancy and how it should go, what you should eat, how your shoe size may affect your delivery and their need to share all of this with you. At first it can be frustrating as you try to know what to take in and what to trash. But once you realize that not everything people say or think is necessarily true, then you create a filter that easily has proper research done and ability to discard what is just not fact.

I always thought I love surprises, in fact I actually do. However, staying for 9 months waiting for it was too much for me this time round. So I went and found out and though they say, machines or rather the results might never be a 100%, I think this one is solid. I am happy. So the shopping began, and though it’s still not done. This was another milestone. Sharing it with my girls and getting advice on what to buy was so much fun. Looking at that tiny outfit and thinking it looks like it’s for a doll, just to realize how major it is that I am the one buying it for a young one that I will be raising. A gift that God has put into your hands and trusts you to be the care giver – THE PARENT! (Saying it out loud still scares me, but I know it will come naturally).

If one is lucky, our physical traits don’t change much. The face, nose and probably legs remain the same and for that we are thankful. The amazing thing is, even for the ones that legs swell or the face has an attack of acne, or you look like you have swallowed something HUGE, they look beyond it because the joy of a tiny human being growing inside you, formation of the bones, eyes, ears, tiny little fingers and toes forming, that great plan that’s orchestrated by God is far GREATER than anything else you could think or imagine.

Having a support system makes the destination look closer and the hurdles a little easier. Family and friends keep u warm, strong, prepared and loved even with the many changes. Amazingly, support groups on Facebook are quite a great plus too. You meet so many other women going through the same thing, you share your joys, sorrows, fears, experiences on doctors, hospitals, what to carry, the entire process. Having others go ahead and share on how it went, gives comfort and strength even though each experience is different.

I am still working on getting the photos for the photo book of the great journey. As I catch up with that due to the shared brain cells I forget sometimes, check this one out!

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